Sunday, March 21, 2010

A jump jump here, and a jump jump there...

The weather imrpoved a lot quicker than I expected, so I was able to squeeze in one more ride before I leave for Alaska. Red and I worked on our walk-trot transitions in the ring, took a nice relaxing walk around the trail, and even jumped! A few jumping video clips can be seen below. The 2nd jump was 2'6" and 2'9". He was a good boy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Our Next Goal: Transitions

I've been riding a lot more consistently now, and the weather has been great (with the exception of today and the 6" of snow on the ground that is still falling). I think our first event is going to be at the Colorado Horse Park on May 1, so I looked over the beginner novice dressage test A and give it a try with Red for the first time yesterday.

We trot down the center line with no problem, turned right and Red asked me where we were going. We followed the arena to the left and made our circle. When we broke from the arena rail, Red again asked what we were doing but we kept going. We picked up the canter and made our second circle, and when it came time to transition to the trot again so soon, Red was completely convinced we were suppose to keep cantering around the arena. It took me half the arena length to bring him back to a trot again, but we got it even though his head was straight up in the air. We transitioned to the walk and had a nice relaxed walk across the diagonal. We picked up the trot, made our circle, and got the right lead on the first try (though it wasn't so pretty) and got back to the trot easier than the previous time. We came back down the center line alright and did an ok halt.

The bottom line is it made me realize the next thing we need to work on are transitions: canter to trot, trot to walk, trot to canter, etc. So, there is our goal. I also jumped Red over a new jump and I didn't let him see it before we approached it. It was just a part of our fence that only has the bottom 2 rails, nothing too scary. He jumped it just fine, in fact I think he liked it!

As I said before, it's currently snowing. I leave town on Tuesday for a while so Red is going to have about 2 weeks off. When I return, it's going to be the final push before our first event. So the rest of our training will be transitions, transitions, transitions!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring is here!!!

Yikes, I can't believe how long it's been since our last update! They will be coming more frequently now that spring has FINALLY arrived. Was that a long, cold winter or what? Yuck!

Well Red had most of the winter off, he just got to eat and play in the snow. We went on occasional trail rides, about weekly or bi-weekly, so he still got to get out a little. He lost some muscle tone so we are working on getting that back now. We are working 3-4 times a week continuing on balance, bending, yielding, etc. You can see his improved form in these video stills below:

Yesterday, Red got his right lead on the first try. Yeah! Was it a fluke? Probably. But I was so excited. It really was a good enthusiasm and confidence boost for me, I was so happy with him. Red also loves to jump, though that this point we're just jumping straw bales and rails.

I'm hoping out first event will be on May 1st. There is an eventing derby (dressage and jumping in 1 day) at the Colorado Horse Park with an Elementary Division. It's cheap and I think it would be a great experience for Red. I'm changing my colors from royal blue to red for Red, how cute does he look below???

There will be more updates more frequently now that we are back to work. Until then...